2020-2021 CAIS Partners

Thanks to all our partners for their generous support. To learn more about our partnership program, contact Diane Brewer.

Principal Conference Partners

Lauren  La Chance


ConnectiCare is a leading health plan in the state of Connecticut. A local company for almost 40 years, ConnectiCare has a full range of products and services for businesses, municipalities, individuals and those who are Medicare-eligible. By striving to make it easy for members to get the care they need, ConnectiCare leads the individual market in the state, and is ranked among the top commercial health plans in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance. ConnectiCare is part of the EmblemHealth family of companies. For more information, visit connecticare.com.

Jeff Clark


Flagship Networks is an Information Technology leader focused on providing custom technology solutions to clients of all sizes. We have nearly two decades of experience working with customers in all industries from schools and municipalities to healthcare institutions and professional practices Our comprehensive consulting, implementation, monitoring and support capabilities, combined with profound industry knowledge and IT expertise, help our clients achieve their technology goals and run their business more productively.

Chris Brigham


Updike, Kelly & Spellacy P.C., with four offices throughout the state of Connecticut, represents a wide range of education law clients in a variety of practice areas including Commercial Lending and Banking, Employment, Healthcare, Real Estate, Governance, Taxation, Environmental, and Trust & Estates. We believe in a common sense approach to legal issues and challenges facing our education and business clients. Our firm provides legal and counseling services to independent schools on a variety of matters. Our attorneys have the expertise to help schools navigate internal and external investigations, student discipline issues, employment issues, municipal tax exemption matters, school/parent relationships, board relationships and governance issues, by-law reviews, student, parent and faculty handbook reviews, and vendor, staff and faculty contract preparation and review.

Select Conference Partners

John Toscano 860-231-6612 blumshapiro is the largest regional business advisory firm based in New England with offices in CT, MA and RI. With a practice group dedicated to independent schools, blum offers an extensive variety of accounting, tax, and business advisory services focused on the financial and operational challenges faced by schools. Our work serving educational institutions means that our clients work with partners and teams possessing the industry knowledge necessary to provide inspired solutions, helping independent schools step forward.
Michael LeBlanc 203-938-8400 From consulting and training to project implementation and customer support, CCi Voice is with you every step of the way. We're not just phones. Our comprehensive approach to customer care begins with knowledgeable and competent staff members who do not only sell products, but also have the technical capacity to ensure the continuing availability and excellent performance of the equipment and software you purchase. This allows you to have a most rewarding experience with your investments.
Our technicians and engineers can either collaborate with your IT staff on project planning and implementation or we can assume the role of your IT staff ourselves. With our team’s expertise and storied experience, you can rest assured that every project will be handled with quality workmanship, along with the absolute best equipment, components, and software available in the market.
Paul Ballasy 959-200-7244 CohnReznick LLP is one of the top accounting, tax, and advisory firms in the United States, combining the deep resources of a national firm with the hands-on, agile approach that today's dynamic business environment demands. With diverse industry expertise, the Firm provides companies with the insight and experience to help them break through and seize growth opportunities. The Firm, with origins dating back to 1919, is headquartered in New York, NY with over 3,000 employees in offices nationwide. CohnReznick is a member of Nexia International, a global network of independent accountancy, tax, and business advisors. For more information, visit www.cohnreznick.com.
Cara Hart   Welcome to CREC's online marketplace. Here you'll find your best value for supplies by purchasing through our pre-negotiated contracts. Our marketplace brings you the ease and convenience of ordering from multiple vendors from one site, while knowing that the contracts you are purchasing from have been chosen according to approved purchasing regulations. We offer over 75 contracts for Turf, Tracks, Courts, Infill, Instructional and STEM Products, Custodial and Grounds Equipment and Supplies, Playgrounds, Furniture, LED and Sports Lighting, Roofing, Automobiles and more!
Sean Kenney 617-548-3205 Independent schools engage EarlyBird Power to save money on their energy costs. CAIS selected EarlyBird Power to manage the CAIS Energy Coop, an energy buying group that leverages the volume of 46 participating schools. By aggregating the total load of the group, each school is able to secure the lowest available rates for their electricity and natural gas supply. CAIS member schools also seek EarlyBird's expertise in leveraging rebates for energy efficiency upgrades, sourcing green power, and exploring solar installations on their campuses. Contact EarlyBird Power if you would like a no-cost utility bill audit or to learn more about the CAIS Energy Coop for your school.
  Chris Duble 978-322-7225 Fred C. Church is an insurance broker and risk management adviser specializing in educational institutions - property/casualty insurance broker for the Nutmeg Group.
  Chris Cappello 617-535-6946 New England Retirement Consultants provides fiduciary oversight and investment consulting to school retirement plans & endowments. We are a Federally Registered Investment Advisory firm with no broker-dealer affiliations which means we are obligated by law to work in our client’s best interest. We have tailored education for 403(b) & 457(b) plans to make sure your employees are on-track to retire successfully. Our investment advisory services are client specific and provides fiduciary protection for school management and trustees.  We help schools create effective fiduciary oversight by becoming your investment fiduciary partner. Put New England Retirement Consultants to work for your school; Improving plans for tomorrow is what we do best – we take good plans and transform them into better plans! www.ne-rc.com

Sherry Ephraim 914-588-8523 By allowing you to focus on your core mission, working with Sodexo makes it easier to maintain a reputation of excellence. Leave things like repairs, maintenance, food service, and more, to us, so you can get your students started on the best foot forward.
Julie Fay 860-251-5000 Shipman & Goodwin's Independent School lawyers use a proactive approach to counsel our more-than-30 independent school clients, including boarding and day schools, Montessori schools, Waldorf schools and religiously affiliated schools. We understand the complex issues and the unique nature of the independent school environment, including all aspects of boarding school communities. We represent independent schools in a wide range of legal issues such as student admissions and discipline, faculty relations,  crisis response and risk management, fund development and charitable giving, mandated reporting, real property tax exemption, corporate governance, finance, environmental land use and a wide variety of litigation and labor issues.


2019 - 2020 Sponsors

Thanks to all our conference sponsors for their generous support.
Joseph Cichowski 203-572-0200 X303 Ash Creek Enterprises specializes in a wide range of services, including tailored IT services and solutions for small and medium sized businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations in Stratford, Fairfield County and throughout Connecticut. We are committed to providing each and every one of our clients with high quality service and support. Our unparalleled IT team is incredibly friendly and will help you every step of the way in supporting your organization.
  Jim Guiliano  860-306-7134 Project/Program Management, Owner's Representative Services.
Russell Learned 860-767-0175 Centerbrook Architects has designed learning and social environments tailored for 49 independent schools. Our goal is to discover each school's distinctions and make comfortable places for all kinds of individuals. Schools tell us our collaborative methods help them define goals, set priorities, and articulate visions that reflect their characters and support their missions.
Paul Ballasy 959-200-7000 CohnReznick LLP is a leading accounting, tax and advisory firm serving the specific needs of independent schools throughout the Northeast. Because of our year-round focus, our professionals advise our clients with the insight gained from maintaining an in-depth understanding of the independent school environment. In addition to high quality assurance and tax services, we regularly advise on such matters as risk management, best practices, benchmarking and process improvement.  

Jeff Gustfeld 860-395-0055 X187 Owner's Project Management and Commissioning Services to help guide and assist schools through the planning, design, and construction aspects of capital building projects.
Bryan Dodge 860-741-9850

Construction Management Services.
Kurt Breckheimer 347-232-7366

Direct Clean Service Solutions serves primary and secondary educational institutions along the northeast corridor. We understand the unique concerns administrators face when choosing a cleaning service and we work closely with our clients to create responsive service plans and protocols.

Direct Clean's comprehensive commercial cleaning and facility maintenance services give our clients the benefit of being able to address all of their needs in a single call. Our cleaning crews receive specialized training for their areas of responsibility and any equipment they use, so clients can rest assured that every task is completed by professionals with appropriate expertise as well as all required certifications. In addition, we know that emergencies can happen at any time, so Direct Clean's Emergency Services Team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to any crisis.

If there’s something you need that you don’t see here, just ask us!

We provide:

  • Ceiling to floor electrostatic spray disinfection which helps to eliminate error during the manual disinfection process.
    • General Janitorial • Exterior Services • Specialized Cleaning • Sustainability Services • Office Products • Staffing Services • Emergency Services
Rob DiMartino 860-289-3507 Independent schools choose Finalsite's marketing and communications platform for its award-winning design, best-in-class software, and seamless integration with 70+ third-party data providers, including Blackbaud’s ON and NXT products. We provide software solutions for attracting and retaining students; engaging alumni and donors; simplifying school-to-home communications; and managing the complex requirements around data privacy, accessibility, hosting and security. With offices in Glastonbury, CT and London, Finalsite is the leading provider for over 2,200 schools in 80+ countries, with a team of professionals who care deeply about their work and who value a lasting partnership.
Robert Labanara 860-368-5100 Gilbane Building Company is a leading construction management firm in Connecticut since 1944.  Gilbane oversees renovation, system upgrade, and new construction projects for private, independent K-12 schools across the State - on projects of all size and scope.  Gilbane leads the industry in collaborative work during preconstruction with design teams to ensure the construction phase exceeds budget, schedule and quality goals.

Michael LeBlanc 203-852-8800 Founded in 1993, LeBlanc Communications Group provides telecommunications infrastructure, including both hosted phone service and closet based systems, for independent schools, non-profits and corporations in Connecticut. We also partner with over 250 carriers (including Zoom video conferencing) and have access to the most competitive fiber internet in the area.  We also work closely with school IT staff to fully manage these systems and the carriers. We often provide switching and wireless infrastructure, fiber between buildings or wireless on rooftops as needed to connect remote locations. Our focus is on simplicity, redundancy and cost savings, which is often significant! We offer at least a 15% discount for CAIS member schools.


Jerry Joseph 412-901-9271

P&D is not your typical school software and website design company.  Our “High Tech, High Touch Services” means that we maintain almost daily contact with the schools we work with so that managing data from birth to bequest is an ongoing collaboration. This solution–a combination of our software and our services–has been in development since 2008 and is now comprised of over 15 totally integrated apps with customizable components, mobile flexibility and seamless integration with a school’s website, as well as the likes of SchoolMessenger, DiamondMind, Google and more.

Rich Bartlett  860-409-7520 X107 The Schuster Group, headquartered in Connecticut and with offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, strives to forge long term relationships with its independent school clients, by upholding industry standards of excellence in the areas of Employee Benefits, Risk Management, HR & Compliance support and consulting and Retirement Plan fiduciary and educational services.  This is done by implementing innovative strategies and developing proprietary, school-specific programs that represent both financial savvy and innovative plan offerings that support our school clients and their faculty and staff
Kara Gruss 860-547-1970

Founded in 1970 by Tai Soo Kim, TSKP STUDIO has collectively evolved into a collaborative partnership of architects mutually committed to excellence in educational design and the services of architecture, interiors and planning. Our portfolio continues to build upon the exceptional body of work completed throughout the past five decades. Clients respect our work for its elegance and thoughtfulness.TSKP STUDIO – Drawing inspiration from nature and expression from the arts to create contextual balance within the built environment.